A new community-based transport project has launched in Wales. ‘Transport to Health’ has been set up to support transport to hospitals and other NHS premises across the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area.
Business News Wales sat down with Faye Mear, the Regional Community Transport Coordinator, who said:
“The Health Board identified that in some areas, they have poor public transport provision. It’s quite fragmented and if someone has support needs, that can be quite difficult to access.”
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She added that the project has had “a lot of initial interest” and there have been a several providers who are “very excited to put in an application to further develop something for their community.”
Since Monday 19th July 2021, Transport providers have been able to apply for grant funding available through the ‘Transport to Health’ project, to support the growth and development of accessible and inclusive transport. This funding is available to existing community transport enterprises, to support the development of new patient transport schemes and to encourage new partnerships within the sector.
Community transport will be beneficial for residents who need to access healthcare sites for appointments, or to visit loved ones.
The project is a partnership between the Health Board (ABUHB), Gwent Association of Voluntary Organizations (GAVO), Community Transport Association (CTA), Torfaen Voluntary Alliance (TVA) and Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO). GAVO has appointed a Regional Community Transport Coordinator to manage the project.
Gemma Lelliott, Director for Wales for Community Transport Association, said:
“As we navigate a new reality in the wake of Covid 19, it has never been so important to safeguard and develop transport solutions that truly work for the communities we serve. We know that community transport provides a lifeline to people living in the Health Board’s area, and we are excited to be part of this new partnership approach to supporting and growing this vital form of transport. We look forward to supporting new and existing community transport operators to develop and improve connections for patients, visitors and staff accessing health settings across the region.”